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Nucleya decodes Skream & Benga

UK-based dubstep duo will perform in New Delhi and Mumbai this weekend

Ambika Muttoo May 06, 2013
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It’s not just all about house and techno here. India has a rapidly swelling dubstep community, which has been cheering loudly for the next big act hitting our shores. UK-based Skream & Benga, who have played a huge role in the surge and development of dubstep, can be called many things: pioneers, champions, ambassadors, engineers. 

Skream (Oliver Dene Jones) and Benga (Adegbenga Adejumo), both Croydon lads, have not only made their mark as a team in bass music, but as separate artists and producers in their own right. While both were releasing records from the early 2000’s, Skream’s first album, Skream!, came out in 2006 and was instantly recognised as a dubstep classic. Benga’s debut, Newstep, also released in 2006, resonated with genre purists who were looking for something dark and genuine, unlike brostep, the more bastardized offspring that was developing.

Much ado has been made about their individual profiles, considering Skream’s music has taken a turn towards a more four-by-four electronic curve, experimenting with genres such as acid techno. His collaborations with artists like Kelis may also have raised eyebrows within the dubstep community but their track “Copy Cat” merges R’n’B and electronica. Together, though, they make old-school bass that hits your gut.

Scion A/V Presents: Skream and Benga EP released back in 2011, for free download. They’re also two-thirds of Magnetic Man along with Artwork, so that’s more girder-splinting music. Mikhail Mehra, of Oji, a new electronic music event production company, who are responsible for bringing the duo down, said, “There is no right or wrong place for Skream and Benga. They could perform in my kitchen and it would be epic.”

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Nucleya, who’s opening for Skream and Benga, in both New Delhi and Mumbai, created an essential playlist of their music for us.


Skream ft Kelis – “Copy Cat”:

Skream is a creative genius. There are very few artists who make music in a genre that is outside their comfort zone and, at the same time, are brilliant at it. This track is a great example of that.

Skream – Sticky:

I love this track. It is quite simple in terms of arrangement and production and has this very old school vibe and an analogue feel which we rarely hear these days.

Skream – Vacillate:

This is an absolute banger! I love how Skream brings the amazing sounds of bells in between. Pure Genius!

Skream - Profuse:

From a DJ’s perspective, no matter what time you play this track in your sets, it takes the energy to the next level. And sometimes it becomes very difficult to maintain the energy because there is no other track like this to mix after!

Skream - Demented” (free download):

This track has a very simple bass line, which many producers prefer to not program. Skream is the only one who can program a simple bass line so amazingly.

Benga – We’re Coming Out”: 

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This track was such an amazing surprise. It starts like a melodic dubstep track, but amazingly turns into this garage/4by4/dubstep hybrid. 

Benga – Little Bits”: 

Benga has the ability to design beats like no one else. This track has great sounds and also has this amazing 8 bit video game feel to it.

Benga –Pour Your Love Feat. Marlene (Drop The Lime Remix):

What a track! Super collaboration between Benga and Marlene and an awesome remix by Drop the Lime. He has used the vocals in a very interesting way, distorting and re-arranging them to create an unusual melody.

Benga & Coki – Night:

An old Benga and Coki track. I became their fan after I heard this track. Everyone who listens to this, starts singing the melody instantly. 

Benga – Open Your Eyes:

Absolute killer track! Benga has great understanding of musical notes and scales. All his tracks I have heard so far are super melodic and very catchy.


Nucleya and Moniker open for Skream & Benga at Kitty Su, New Delhi on May 11. Skream & Benga perform at Sitara Studio, Mumbai on May 12. For details, click here 



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